German federal court overturns 'Sharia police' acquittals

A German federal court has overturned the acquittal of seven men who posed as a self-styled "Sharia police."

The group took to the streets of Wuppertal in September 2014 in orange vests bearing the words "Sharia police," handing out leaflets declaring the area a "Sharia-controlled zone" where alcohol, music and pornography were banned.

The men were charged with violating uniform wearing rules, but a state court found the vests couldn't be classified as a uniform and weren't intimidating, and ruled the men couldn't be convicted. Five were allegedly part of the self-styled patrol; the other two alleged accessories.

The Federal Court of Justice on Thursday sent the case back to Wuppertal for a retrial. It said the lower court gave insufficient consideration to possible violations of the law.